Showing posts with label Illinois outdoors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Illinois outdoors. Show all posts

Monday, January 21, 2019

Fulton-Mason Eagle Day Saturday, February 2, 2019

Fulton-Mason Eagle Day

Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 9:00am to 4:00pm

Free, donations accepted

Join us for the annual Fulton-Mason Eagle Day event. Activities include live raptor programs, hands-on activities and crafts for kids, and bird watching in various locations in Lewistown and Havana, Illinois. The event is free and for all ages.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Years Newsbits January 2019

Illinois DNR Newsbits – January 2019

Monday, December 24, 2018

New Hunting Regulations Become Law On January 1st 2019

On January 1st the following hunting related bills will become law.  Many of you have seen the Blaze Pink Bill being discussed, however there are two more pieces of legislation that you will see become effective in the new year.

Did you know that the following happened during the 100th General Assembly?

  • 1,268 pieces of legislation passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly

  • 1,044 bills were approved by the Governor.

  • 135 initiatives were vetoed by the Governor.

  • 50 vetoed items were overridden by lawmakers, rejecting the Governor's objection. (source)


New Hunting Laws

HB 4231
Allows both firearms deer hunters and upland game hunters to wear blaze pink in addition to blaze orange during their hunting season.

HB 4783
Combines the Youth Hunting License and the Youth Trapping License to create a Youth Hunting and Trapping License for a fee of $7. Provides that a Youth Hunting and Trapping License shall entitle the licensee to hunt while supervised by an adult who is 21 years of age or older and who has a valid Illinois hunting license. Provides that if a youth has a valid certificate of competency for hunting or trapping from a hunter safety course or a trapper safety course approved by the Department of Natural Resources, he or she is exempt from the supervision requirements for youth hunters or youth trappers under the provision.

HB 5440
Provides that the fees for a youth resident and non-resident archery deer permit shall be the same. Provides that a resident or non-resident youth under age 18 (rather than only resident youth) may apply to the Department of Natural Resources for a Youth Hunting License and Youth Trapping License.

101st General Assembly To Be Sworn In


Members of the 101st General Assembly will be sworn in on January 9th at noon.  The Illinois House will hold their inauguration at UIS and the Illinois Senate will hold their inauguration in the Senate Chambers at the Illinois Capitol Building.  Both ceremonies will be broadcast here.

The 101st GA is sure to be an action packed one, especially during the first year.  Stay tuned and be sure to follow us on FB for continuous updates from the Capitol. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

IDNR Announces 2018 Habitat Fund Project Grant Recipients

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced the approval of more than $2.1 million in grants for 17 wildlife habitat projects through the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program.

The program provides for enhancing game and non-game wildlife habitat through projects developed by not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities. Funding for the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program comes from the sale of Habitat Stamps to sportsmen.

The Illinois Habitat Fund Advisory Committee this fall approved $2,160,000 in funding for the 17 projects, which are outlined below. 
• National Wild Turkey Federation – A project to do habitat restoration work at Kincaid Lake, Little Cache River and Oakwood Bottoms in the Shawnee National Forest in partnership with U.S. Forest Service. $50,000 in state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $99,913 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project that funds a Wildlife Biologist position to provide consulting with local landowners in these counties: Jackson, Perry, Washington, Randolph, and Franklin with a focus on the Burning Star Quail Focus Area. $190,813 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $20,000 in matching funds.  
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A partnership project with the USDA to fund a one-time incentive payment to local landowners for their voluntary enrollment in the federal State Acres for Wildlife (SAFE) program as part of the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in these counties: Mercer, Henry, Bureau ,Stark, Marshall, Knox, Warren, Henderson, McDonough, Fulton, Peoria, Sangamon, Coles, Cumberland, Jasper, Richland, Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Marion, Bond, Clinton, Washington, and Perry. $99,000 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $30,000 in matching funds. 
• Pleasure Drive Peoria Park District - The Peoria Park District (PPD) along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (PFW), the Illinois River Valley Pheasants Forever (PF) chapter, and Illinois Farm Bureau are working to restore and enhance prairies and woodlands in Peoria County to improve habitat diversity for the federally endangered rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis, RPBB). In addition to the RPBB, this project will benefit the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and other native pollinator species, grassland songbirds, forest dwelling bird species, and overall ecosystem health. This partnership was awarded $60,945.10 in state Habitat funds to restore 43 acres of high diversity native prairie and enhance an additional 17.2 acres of existing prairie and woodland in Peoria County, with $63,8230 in grantee matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project designed for providing habitat restoration assistance for local landowners in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) affecting potentially 2,000 acres statewide. $105,000 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $40,000 in matching funds. 
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A project to fund a Habitat Specialist over several years to advise and consult with private landowners on habitat-friendly practices in a game bird habitat region of southern Illinois south of I-70. $60,500 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $210,000 in matching funds. 
• Winnebago Forest Preserve – The Winnebago County Forest Preserve District (WCFPD) along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (PFW), local Pheasants Forever (PF) and Trout Unlimited (TU) chapters, and Illinois Farm Bureau are working to restore and enhance prairies and woodlands in Winnebago County to improve habitat diversity for the federally endangered rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis, RPBB). In addition to the RPBB, these projects will benefit the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and other native pollinator species, grassland songbirds, forest dwelling bird species, and overall ecosystem health. This is a project to restore 84.5 acres of high diversity native prairie and enhance an additional 299.5 acres of existing prairie and woodland in Winnebago County. Winnebago County has one of the highest concentrations of known RPBB populations in Illinois outside the Chicagoland collar counties. Grant project locations of these habitat restoration activities are at Cedar Cliff Forest Preserve, Severson Dells Forest Preserve, Stone Bridge Forest Preserve, Four Lakes Forest Preserve, and Kieselburg Forest Preserve. $90,860 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $114,521.53 in matching funds. 
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A project to fund Bonus Incentive Payments to local landowners for completing wildlife-friendly work on CPR and Non-CRP acreage in 20 Illinois counties that are game bird range areas. $121,220 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $40,800 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project designed for funding Farm Bill biologist positions providing consultative habitat restoration assistance for local landowners in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) affecting potentially 20,000 acres in these counties: Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Henderson, Warren, Knox, McLean, Livingston, DeWitt, Peoria, Woodford, Tazewell, Ford, Iroquois, Champaign, Vermillion, Douglas, Moultrie, Shelby, Coles, Cumberland, Effingham, Jasper, Clay, Marion, Jefferson, Richland, Wayne, Hamilton, Lawrence, Edwards, Wabash and White. $180,000 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $540,000 in matching funds. 
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A project to fund habitat restoration work to set back woody succession adjacent to grasslands in the Grand Prairie and Southern Till plains of Illinois on both public and private lands. $28,908 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $9,720 in matching funds. 
• Winnebago Forest Preserve – A project to create Ferguson Prairie Pothole, a 1.3-acre seasonal pond attractive to waterfowl near the parking trailhead at the Calvin and Sophia Ferguson Forest Preserve, a 529-acre property with 1.9 miles of Sugar River shoreline at the confluence with the Pecatonica River. A wetland reserve easement for 457 acres of the site is held by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS). According to local bird enthusiasts, the site is a major migratory bird stopover. The project goals are to create the wetland habitat close to parking for public enjoyment and exposure, especially for those with limited mobility, and to raise awareness and education of wetlands. $10,880 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $11,585 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project of buying habitat restoration equipment for volunteer chapters with habitat restoration workers in Winnebago, Stephenson, Brown, Piatt, Ford, McDonough, Kane, Coles, Cumberland, and Macon counties. $98,839 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $47,110 in matching funds.  
• Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) Braidwood Sands Area – This project will fund non-native invasive species control on 1,063 acres of the Braidwood Sands Area. The project reduces sassafras and oak tree and grub density in the savanna and removal of unwanted native trees from mesic prairie areas, removing excessive native shrubs from wet prairie/sedge meadow and marsh, and converts agricultural fields to prairie. The project proposes to over-seed prairie re-creations with local seed and perform butterfly surveys on Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Sand Ridge Savanna Nature Preserve, Kankakee Sands Forest Preserve and Wilmington Shrub Prairie State Nature Preserve. $112,200 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $244,850 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project of habitat restoration of seasonal wetlands in Northeast Illinois to improve wildlife habitat diversity, water quality and flood protection in 20 wetland basins and 100 acres in these counties: Ford, Iroquois, Champaign, Livingston, Kankakee, and Will. $195,305.25 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $120,824 in matching funds. 
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A project to buy a prescribed burn wildland fire water pump for assisting crews with prescribed burn areas in Logan County. $5,924 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $1,609 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A partnership project with the IDNR for funding a five-person mobile Habitat Strike Team work crew for habitat restoration projects in west central Illinois. $695,942.59 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $649,000 in matching funds.  
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – a partnership project with the IDNR for funding the equipment and hauling trailer for a five-person mobile Habitat Strike Team work crew for habitat restoration projects in west central Illinois. $46,799.59 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $5,000 in matching funds. 

The grants through the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program are competitive and are evaluated for their merit. Eligible recipients are limited to any appropriate not-for-profit organization or government agency that has the expertise, equipment and permission from the landowner (if applicable) to develop and/or manage wildlife habitat. “Appropriate Not-For-Profit Organization” means a not-for-profit corporation that is organized pursuant to the General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986 [805 ILCS 105], is in good standing as a not-for-profit corporation and is authorized to conduct affairs in Illinois with one of its purposes as stated in its Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws being the support, development, conservation or management of habitat for future generations, or wildlife rehabilitation.

Applications for the next round of grants through the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program will be accepted beginning on January 1, 2019. Check the IDNR webpage at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/grants/Pages/Special-Wildlife-Funds-Grant-Program.aspx for more information.

This Information was provided by the Department of Natural Resources.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Hunters Harvest A Total of 80,896 Deer During the 2018 Illinois Firearm Season

State Representative Jerry Costello II with a nice buck

Firearm deer season has come to an end.  Muzzleloader only is this coming weekend.  If you harvest a deer this weekend, send in your photos to capitoloutdoors@gmail.com and you could be featured in next week's numbers.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) Claims Over 400 Illinois deer in 2018

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released the following information that EHD claimed more then 400 deer this year in Illinois.  The 432 cases from 49 different counties are at "EHD appears to be at low to moderate levels in counties on or near the Illinois River, extending from Schuyler County to the southwest through Bureau County to the northeast".  If this rings a bell, Capitol Outdoors brought you a story about a potential EHD case at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.

EHD Outbreak in Illinois Claims More than 400 Deer

432 EHD reported cases from 49 counties so far in 2018


SPRINGFIELD, IL – As of October 29, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has received reports of 432 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in white-tailed deer so far in 2018.


EHD appears to be at low to moderate levels in counties on or near the Illinois River, extending from Schuyler County to the southwest through Bureau County to the northeast. Peoria County has had the worst of it with 77 cases, followed closely by Fulton County with 71 cases.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

October 2018 IDNR Newsbits and Happenings

As leaves begin to change and winter being right around the corner, October is the perfect month to get outside with the family.  What is happening this month?  Well, check out this month's Newsbits from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. While there are several reminders in regards to season dates, etc. there are some family fun filled adventures planned this month as well.  One event that is not listed is the Fall Inland Trout Release on October 20th.  This is a perfect adventure to introduce kids and adults to fishing.  Also, make sure to read this month message form Director Rosenthal.  

Waterfowl season starts this month learn more about it here.

IDNR Newsbits – October 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Outdoor News and Dates for September 2018 - Illinois Department of Natural Resources

The IDNR Newsbits is a quick 411 of events and dates provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources each month.  While this is not a full list of outdoor events throughout the state, this is a great list if you are interested in agency events.

IDNR Newsbits for September 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservations Open August 6th

Controlled pheasant hunting is right around the corner and starting August 6th at 8:30 a.m. upland hunters will be able to apply for a permit.  There will be 18 sites throughout Illinois this year where you can put your wingshooting and dog handling skills to the test.  

Below you'll see all the information regarding one of Illinois' most popular outdoor activities. 

Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Information Now Available Online


Online application period for IDNR-managed sites begins Aug. 6

Last year our family headed out to Jim Edgar Panther Creek and did some Upland Hunting


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Information Regarding Youth Firearm Deer Season at Jim Edgar Panther Creek

You hear it all the time from non-profits, agencies and others, we need to get youth involved in hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities.  Here is another good event.  A total of 75 youth hunters will have the privilege of shotgun hunting Jim Edgar Panther Creek October 6 - 8.  Not only is it a good opportunity for youth to get involved, but it's on some of the best public hunting in Illinois.  If you have a youth that is interested, make sure to follow the instructions below.  Since, this weekend is also the first weekend of the archery season, hunters may have to rearrange a few things as archery hunters will NOT be allowed to hunt in the Open Units. 

Apply Now for Youth Firearm Deer Season at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area

Youth season is a great opportunity to get youth the experience in the outdoors.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Illinois 100th General Assembly Spring Session Wrap-up // Hunting and Fishing Legislation


Both the House and Senate have concluded their Spring Session.  Below you will find a breakdown of all bills that have passed both chambers and now move onto the Governor.  Once the Governor receives each piece of legislation, he will have 60 days to take action; either sign or veto each respected piece of legislation.  We will keep you updated as this happens.

Both the House and Senate will return for Veto Session on November 13th.

BUDGET Update

The FY19 budget (HB 109) and budget implementation bill were passed by both the House and Senate.  In the past years of the Rauner Administration, you may have heard a lot of conversation surrounding the budget on news broadcast and other avenues, however this year was different, as legislators and staff kept much of the proceedings behind closed doors. The process went seemingly smooth as the election draws near.

The following are some of the highlights of the budget related to the DNR:
  • This budget fully funds the Capital Budget which includes but is not limited to infrastructure rehabilitation and other grant programs. 
  • The Department of Natural Resources operating budget stays the same. 
    • Does not appear to be any new funding for Conservation Police
  • According to the bill, unexpended appropriation from FY18 will be reappropriated to the Office of Resource Conservation. 
    • 'The sum of $294,774, or so much thereof as may be necessary and remains unexpended at the close of business on June 30, 2017, from appropriations heretofore made in Article 86, Section 5 of Public Act 99-0524, is reappropriated from the Wildlife and Fish Fund to the  Department of Natural Resources for ordinary and contingent expenses of Resource Conservation.

  • Many have been wondering how the Supplemental Deer Feeding Study will be funded.  Since the Prairie Research Institute is conducting the study, the appropriation will most like come from their budget.  
    • The sum of $14,803,100, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois for costs and expenses related to or in support of the Prairie Research Institute, in accordance with Public Act 95-0728. 
If any of this is confusing please don't worry, the IDNR budget is broken down into dozen of funds and broken down again into other appropriations.  As Capitol Outdoors learns more we will continue to update you.
 
The following bills are now headed to the Governor:

HB 4231 - Blaze Pink Clothing
  • Authorizes certain hunters to wear solid blaze pink colored clothing (in addition to blaze orange colored clothing).
HB 4783 - Youth Hunt/Trap
  • Amends the Wildlife Code to provide a universal definition of youth to be "under 18" for consistency when it comes to youth hunting programs.
HB 5317 - Poached Deer Restitution Value 
  • Increases the restitution that the DNR will receive when someone illegally takes wildlife.  
    • For example: 
      • Whitetail Deer- increase from $250 to $1000
      • Trumpeter Swan - increase from $250 to $1000
      • Eagle - increase from $500 to $1000
      • Wild Turkey - increase from $250 to $500
HB 5440 - Youth Hunting
  • Provides the the fee for resident and non-resident youth archery deer permit shall be the same. 
    • For example, out of state family under the age of 18 would be able to hunt for the same cost as a resident youth of the State of Illinois. 
HB 5692 - River Otter Limit
  • By deleting the provision that states that the River Otter limit should not exceed five per season, the DNR is able to better manage the population and change the River Otter limit according to the biologists data. 
HB 5693 - Trapping Tags 
  • Currently trappers are required to put their name and address on their traps.  This bill would allow trappers to use their DNR Customer # instead for privacy reasons. 

Capitol Outdoors

SB 2295 - Electronic Fishing Licenses
  • Defines "fishing license" and "combination license" as an electronic or physical copy. 
SB 2493 - Deer Feed
  • This bill provides that the University of Illinois Prairie Research Institute shall, subject to appropriation and in consultation with the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, conduct a study for a period of at least five years on the health and social effects of supplemental deer feeding on the wild deer population outside of any Illinois deer hunting season and whether supplemental deer feeding affects the risk of disease transmission in the deer population.
As always please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.